The CHEK Practitioner in the Clinical Setting PDF Print E-mail

The CHEK Practitioner in the Clinical Setting

Column #133, 26th November 2011

“Knowledge is not power, applied knowledge is.” Paul Chek, Holistic Health Practitioner.  Internationally-renowned clinician Paul Chek is spreading his expertise to the C.H.E.K Practitioners of the world, creating knowledgeable and competent trainers.

As an Exercise and Strength Coach I am passionate about the professional training and qualifications that I take.  I love to learn from the best in the industry such as Charles Poliquin, Paul Chek, Gary Gray, Gray Cook and Mel Siff to name a few.  I recently qualified as a CHEK Practitioner Level 1, which was another challenging and rewarding experience.

What is a CHEK Practitioner?

C.H.E.K Practitioners are specialists in corrective exercise and high-performance conditioning . They are trained in assessment techniques and have the skills to design individualized exercise programs. There are 4 levels to the training and the higher the level completed, the more practical knowledge and experience they will have, particularly in complex orthopedic conditions.

C.H.E.K Practitioners come from a varied background including fitness professionals, strength and conditioning coaches, chiropractors, physical therapists, bodyworkers, massage therapists, podiatrists, athletic trainers and so on.  The key is that they understand that the human body is a system of many complex inter-related systems that all affect each other. They conduct the most thorough and detailed assessments on all the bodies’ systems before making any recommendations.

C.H.E.K Practitioners are skilled in human biomechanics, orthopaedic rehabilitation, and sports performance.  Their holistic approach involves assessing each person on a physical, mental and emotional level and suggesting referrals to other professionals where necessary to ensure optimal results.

Areas and goals that may benefit from working with CHEK professionals may include:

  • Eliminating back pain
  • Rehabilitation of shoulder, neck and head pain
  • Improve posture
  • Enhancing movement efficiency
  • Improved sports performance
  • Injury prevention and management

Level 1 Specifically

I was personally extremely interested in what Level 1 had to offer.  I wanted to learn more about how we develop movement skills from birth, through infancy, childhood and into adulthood.  Working in a clinical setting the people I see on a daily basis are often suffering from pain, recurring injuries or a dysfunction and limitation in performance.  I was keen to learn more specific assessment techniques to see where the deficits were in their movement patterns and get to the root of what had caused them.  Learning the ability to design specific exercise programs to balance and correct these factors would be the icing on the cake.

On the Level 1 course I learned all this and more.  The Infant Development and Movement Assessments are a fantastic tool and I can recommend further reading of Linda Hartley’s “Wisdom of the Moving Body”.  Here you can find out more about the physical, emotional and mental etiology of movement inefficiency.  The assessments are one thing but actually applying the information is another, as we could assess all day at great interest to myself, but the patient would be no better off.  Mark Buckley (CHEK Faculty) took us to the next level and taught us more about how to restore functional movement, customize programs to any ability and goal and balance the systems in the body that need it.

The Clinical Setting

I like to do courses that are immediately applicable to the real world and that I can use in the gym or the clinic the next day.  The CHEK education is applicable to many areas of health and performance, but for me it is extremely useful for working with someone with dysfunction and pain.  The level of assessment means that imbalances in various systems can be identified and changes in nutrition, lifestyle and movement implemented for successful outcomes.

In my opinion, there is a time and place for different approaches to achieving your health and performance goals.  Sometimes strength training will be appropriate whilst at other times Yoga and Tai Chi.  Boot camps are building in popularity and have done a fantastic job of motivating people to get up, go outside and move.  However, there are many instances where factors such as structural alignment, posture, physiology, muscle balance, adrenal function and movement deficiencies need to be addressed before we load and challenge the body in certain ways and intensities.  It’s all about the right exercise, in the right way for the right person.

If you have any more questions about conditioning for health and performance or about working with a CHEK Practitioner just give me a call or email.


Jack Walton
Written on Thursday, 24 November 2011 00:00 by Jack Walton

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